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Complaint Filed Against Christine Blasey Ford's Lawyers

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The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Friday it had filed a complaint against lawyers for Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, arguing that they hadn’t kept their client properly informed about her options for testifying.

The complaint was filed “to the Board of Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Debra S. Katz, Lisa J. Banks, and Michael R. Bromwich for violating the rules of professional responsibility in their representation of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh,” the group announced in a news release.

“According to the Judicial Watch complaint, by not informing their client Dr. Ford that Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee offered in a letter to ‘fly female staff investigators to meet Dr. Ford … in California, or anywhere else, to obtain (her) testimony,’ Katz, Banks, and Bromwich violated” two rules of conduct.

The rules in question state that “(a) lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information” and that “(a) lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.”

The complaint notes that the day after Ford’s identity was revealed, “Ms. Katz went on several television shows asking that the (Senate Judiciary) Committee hold a public hearing so that Dr. Ford could offer her testimony.”

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“Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, honored that request. In a letter sent on September 19, 2018, he informed Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks that the Committee was scheduling a hearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination for September 24, 2018, in order to ‘give Dr. Ford an opportunity to tell her story to the Senate and, if she chooses, to the American people,'” the complaint said.

“He informed Ms. Katz and Ms. Banks that the hearing could be public or private, and that Dr. Ford could also choose to have a public or private staff interview with Committee staff, either by phone or in-person.

“‘To that end,’ Chairman Grassley continued, ‘Committee staff has attempted to contact you directly by phone and e-mail several times to schedule a call at a time convenient for you and your client. We thus far have not heard back from you with regard to that request.’

“He reiterated that ‘my staff would still welcome the opportunity to speak with Dr. Ford at a time and place convenient to her.’”

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In her testimony, however, Ford said she would have preferred to give her testimony in California.

When questioned about her fear of flying, she told the committee, “I was hoping that they would come to me, but then I realized that was an unrealistic request.”

Later, prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked Ford, “Was it communicated to you by your counsel or someone else, that the committee had asked to interview you and that — that they offered to come out to California to do so?”

After a bit of kerfuffle over whether or not this represented a privileged conversation between Ford and her lawyers, the accuser seemed to indicate that the offer wasn’t explained in detail to her.

“I just appreciate that you did offer that. I wasn’t clear on what the offer was,” Ford said. “If you were going to come out to see me, I would have happily hosted you and had you — had been happy to speak with you out there. I just did not — it wasn’t clear to me that that was the case.”

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This wasn’t a terribly complicated offer; the Senate Judiciary Committee would have interviewed her in California. How difficult was this for a gaggle of people who have done postgraduate work in law to elucidate to their client?

It’s pretty obvious that either Ford or her lawyers are lying about this. At least in this case, I believe Ford. She surrounded herself with Democratic operatives who realized it was to the advantage of the left to have this testimony aired in the open. If they didn’t make this clear to their client, however, they violated their professional obligations — and they need to face the consequences for it.

In the statement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said this wouldn’t be the end of their Kavanaugh-related inquiries, either.

“We are concerned that ethics rules were violated by Dr. Ford’s attorneys during the Kavanaugh confirmation and took action to get accountability,” Fitton said.

“We already filed a Senate ethics complaint against Sen. Cory Booker over his admitted rule breaking and are considering additional steps to address the misconduct committed by Justice Kavanaugh’s opponents.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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